The Value of Love
Pastor Ryan - February 8, 2022
Diamonds are valuable. I don’t have to convince you of that. Like gold or silver, diamonds have intrinsic value. They are valuable because of what they are. They don’t need to be molded or crafted into another form for them to have value. We’re usually pretty good about knowing when something is intrinsically valuable just by looking at it.
Are you aware that love is intrinsically valuable? Love is desirable for its own sake. We don’t tend to think of love in this way, as a commodity. And for good reason. Love is not something that can be bought or sold. But it is valuable in its own right. When I sweep one of my children up and smother them with kisses, I’m not aware, in that moment, the love I feel. I grabbed them with my hug and, depending on the child, am more worried about not dropping them or losing a tooth from their play-thrashing. But after such exchanges we both have smiles on our faces and are giggling. Even in our dark valleys, when we have lost a loved one, that pain exposes how much we loved the other. And our grief is an expression of the love that we will miss out on.
Love can be the measure of life. In the same way one might measure their wealth by how many dollars are in the bank account, so too might one weigh the love in their life to measure its value. This is as God would have it. Those who are living a godly life are those who love God with all their heart and their neighbors as themselves. Those who base their life on, and value life through, love are doing what God wants and will be the most “rich.” In so doing we avoid the traps of “keeping up with the Joneses,” that materialism offers. And find fuller meaning than the capricious claimer of fame or notoriety.
As Lutherans, we occupy a special place in God’s kingdom because we can love ‘em. We understand that we don’t have to audition anyone’s righteousness. We don’t have to question if their life choices align perfectly with every point in the Bible. We don’t have to question if someone is truly as they portray themselves to be. We get to love them. Sweep them into the arms of our congregation. Accept them into our own lives. Comfort all when trials arise and be the very love of God.
When people know that you will love them for who they are, before they have shown what they can provide, you are showing them that they have intrinsic value. That they are worthy of love. And, that God loves them. This is as God commanded, and it's what I call evangelism.